On Sunday, Sept. 9, just two days before the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a $2 million memorial - the largest in the nation to date - was unveiled to honor the 344 Nassau County residents who lost their lives. The unveiling ceremony was held at Eisenhower Park's Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, across from the memorial.
Nassau County's memorial features two semitransparent aluminum towers, representing the World Trade Center towers, rising 30 feet from a fountain, and also contains two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center's wreckage. Photo by Joe Rizza
Four years ago, President George Bush - along with then-Governor George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani - helped break ground for the memorial, which features a wall with the names of the 344 Nassau residents who died in the World Trade Center and on Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, PA. Some Nassau communities were hit particularly hard. Rockville Centre lost more than 20 people, while Garden City lost 19, Manhasset lost 17 and Valley Stream lost 14 residents.
"The attacks of September 11 have left an indelible mark, not just on our nation, but on our county, which lost 344 people," Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi said. "I can only hope that this memorial will lend some solace to the pain their families feel."
The program for the unveiling consisted of various performances from children who lost parents September 11, 2001, the reciting of the 344 names that are part of the memorial as well as remarks from the county executive.
"It is my hope that this memorial will help people to grieve and to make certain that the events of September 11 are always foremost in our thoughts and represent a day that will forever be marked as a turning point in American history," Suozzi added.